2016 folk festival acts announced

Mongolian throat singing supergroup Huun Huur Tu.

A NATIVE group from the Mongolian border and five acts from North America are among the visiting artists announced for this year’s Shetland Folk Festival.

The popular event is taking place for the 36th time between 28 April and 1 May, with 15 acts scheduled to take the trip to Shetland to perform.


The furthest-flung group is Huun-Huur-Tu from the Russia side of the Mongolian border, who are noted for their use of native instruments and throat singing.

Sheesham Lotus & Son will bring their ragtime and blues over from the States.

Five acts will travel from the US and Canada, with contemporary trio The East Pointers, ragtime and blues outfit Sheesham & Lotus & ‘Son and Quebecois supergroup De Temps Antan gearing up to head to Shetland.

Laura Cortese and The Dance Cards from San Francisco should get everyone on their feet.

They’re joined on the bill by San Francisco roots band Laura Cortese and The Dance Cards and bluegrass outfit The Railsplitters.

Elsewhere on the line-up, Wör will head over from Belgium to showcase their unique blend of 18th Century local dance tunes and more contemporary instruments, such as saxophone.

De Temps Antan from Quebec are bound to be a highlight.

Coming from Ireland are traditional act The Alan Kelly Gang, whose four members are “critically acclaimed masters of their craft”.

Returning to the folk festival meanwhile are Glasgow swing and jazz act Rose Room, who last played the event in 2014, while The Outside Track will bring their mix of Cape Breton, Scottish and Irish influences to the table.

The East Pointers from Canada come to Shetland after touring Australia.

Gordon Gunn, Brian McAlpine & Friends – whose four members are all involved in Scottish trad supergroup Session A9 – are on the bill, as are award-winning rising contemporary folksters The Elephant Sessions, who hail from Inverness.

There’s also space for burgeoning Scottish trio Talisk, who perform traditional Scots and Irish tunes, while Mànran – who last played the festival in 2012 – will return with their unique mix of Celtic origins and funky rock.

The masters from Ireland, The Alan Kelly Gang.

Two members of the latter group, Gary Innes and Ewen Henderson, will also perform over the weekend as a duo.

All artists except for Mànran, who are in Shetland for one night only, will perform over the duration of the festival.

The supporting cast of local acts will be announced in due course.

And from mainland Europe, Belgian outfit Wor play old music with a modern twist

Early memberships will be available to buy between 1-29 February, with tickets for the sought-after gigs going on sale to members from 21 March. The general public can buy tickets from 4 April.

Festival fans are reminded that the event now operates an online-only sale system for both memberships and concert tickets.